Mercury retrograde—which happens when the planet appears to be spinning backward from our view on Earth—is cosmically interrupting us for one last time in 2021, between September 27 and October 17. Because it's the closest planet to Earth, Mercury’s backspin has a strong reputation for making everyday things hinge a bit off-kilter, especially in the arenas of communication and transportation over which it rules. That said, each of its retrograde transits summons a particular flavor of inconvenient vibes or experiences. And with the upcoming Mercury retrograde in Libra, we can expect the strongest sway to occur in the realm of relationships, as Libra rules over the seventh house of partnerships.
This Mercury retrograde in Libra may encourage us to slow our roll and double-check our footing, as any retrograde might. “It’s a period of retrogression designed for reflecting back on past communications and decisions that may need our attention again,” says Svetlana, a Vedic astrologer for personal astrology app Nebula.
“It’s a period of retrogression designed for reflecting back on past communications and decisions that may need our attention again.” —Svetlana, Vedic astrologer
With Mercury moving backward through Libra, the sign of the scales, this fall, we can expect to be pushed to review and re-evaluate our understanding of balance and how fairly (or not) we’ve treated other people, says Yana Yanovich, an astrologer for Nebula. To that end, you may brush up against an interpersonal conflict, as Mercury also forms a tense aspect with Pluto in the first part of the retrograde, through October 2. “This could bubble up raw emotions into your communications,” says Yanovich.
A more powerful (and potentially positive) celestial interaction with this Mercury retrograde may come right after Pluto’s influence wanes, however, in the first few days of October. “Mercury will start forming a harmonious aspect with Jupiter, the planet of vision, wisdom, and expanding one’s horizons,” says Yanovich. “But because Jupiter will also be in retrograde during this time, the focus of these themes will be directed inward instead of outward,” she adds, suggesting this aspect as yet another reason to slow down and self-reflect.
“Use this energy to ponder any moral questions that might arise during this time or that might have surfaced in the past,” she says. And if you’re managing any of these ethical quandaries within a relationship, approach that conversation with extra caution and care.
To take this introspection one step further, you might also consider the ways in which Mercury retrograde in Libra could uniquely impact you, based on how it interacts with your sun sign (aka the sign that drives the thrust of your personality and which you’d read for in a horoscope). Below, Svetlana and Yanovich share how this retrograde may affect each sign, so you can be proactive against potential mishaps headed your way.
Here's how Mercury retrograde in Libra may affect each sign, according to astrologers:
Buckle up, Aries. Because Libra falls directly opposite Aries on the zodiac wheel, Mercury retrograde in Libra may create a challenging aspect, says Yanovich. As such, you'd be wise to put your physical health and wellness on a pedestal, and set aside extra time for self care. And according to Svetlana, it's worth giving the same due diligence to any official paperwork that heads your way, too.
The Libra-esque relationships theme of this retrograde is of particular note to you, sensual Taurus. Utilize this time to reconnect with or deepen your connections with loved ones, and to clear any confusion that may have bubbled up recently with a partner, says Svetlana. Though these discussions might feel draining in the moment, they're the surest way to see your partnership to real growth.
You're rarely short on ideas—even if you do tend to flip-flop between a few of them, Gemini. Because Libra falls in a harmonious trine to Gemini, this Mercury retrograde in Libra may serve you well by bringing an old idea into your mind once more. Yanovich's advice? Mull it over a good deal before acting on it—and if you still think it's a worthy goal after the retro phase ends, take steps to set it in motion.
Mercury in Libra creates a difficult square (aka 90-degree angle) to Cancer, says Yanovich. To steer clear of future issues, it's smart to simply postpone important or irreversible decisions, if you can, she adds, as you could very well change your mind later. According to Svetlana, this time could put a particular strain on the realm of your finances, so a little extra prudence in that department wouldn't hurt, as well.
The harmonious sextile (60-degree angle) between Libra and Leo could offer you some clarity on past projects during this retrograde, says Yanovich. To be specific, you could gain greater insight into what went well and what went poorly, perhaps both realizing profits from good investments and learning where to cut your losses from not-so-great ones, adds Svetlana.
You tend to prefer situations in which you can set your sights on a specific goal and chug along at your own detailed pace—and that's just what this retrograde has in store for you, Virgo. Yanovich says Mercury being in Libra has less of a direct impact on Virgo, so that allows you to continue riding the Virgo-esque wave of your birthday season, focusing in on mastering skills new and old in the way you do best.
You won't be surprised to learn that reimagining and rediscovering relationships will be a main focus of the retrograde slow-down for you, partnerships-oriented Libra. This retrograde is in your sign, which could make it particularly powerful, whether or not it feels that way in the moment. "You could feel as though you're on a journey to find more peace and love in your life," says Svetlana. "This period will help define your ability to connect with people from disparate backgrounds along that journey."
Opportunities for spiritual growth may present if you're able to tap into your intuition, Scorpio. Mercury in Libra has minimal contact for your sign, leaving you free to embrace this self-reflective period using your typical knack for emotional intelligence. In fact, you could even come to a new realization that could deliver good news—perhaps a chance for new part-time work on a project you're passionate about, says Svetlana.
As with Leo, Mercury in Libra forms a supportive sextile to Sagittarius, says Yanovich. While you'll be pushed to rethink some decisions made in the past, says Svetlana, you'll make good progress course-correcting, so long as you don't mince words. "Spending extra time working through any memos, pieces of writing, or other elements of communication will be key," adds Yanovich.
However tough it may feel, try to resist the urge to forge ahead like the success-focused powerhouse you are, Capricorn. (If you don't, you could find your efforts futile in nature: Mercury in Libra forms a difficult square with Capricorn, slowing forward motion.) Yanovich advises double-checking all your work—and spending more solo time as you do so.
Thanks to a positive trine between Libra and Aquarius, this period isn't so openly turbulent for you as it is internally thought-provoking. Old ideas or perhaps old flames could reenter your life, but as the Libran focus on relationships dictates, try to take a fair and balanced approach to romance, rather than rushing in. Otherwise, you might miss the true intentions of an existing or potential partner, says Svetlana.
Keep your eyes open to what the world is attempting to show you in terms of your career, Pisces. According to Svetlana, you could be pushed toward an essential decision at the workplace, and may need to dig deep to figure out the best route. If the right answer seems the culmination of a plan you've been cooking up for some time, don't hesitate: Minimal contact with Mercury in Libra is giving you the permission to make that call.
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